UK/Germany 2018

A season celebrating cultural connection

UK/Germany 2018 was a dynamic, year-long programme which explored and celebrated all forms of cultural connection between the UK and Germany; from theatre, music and dance, to digital engagement and storytelling.

The #UKGermany2018 launch party at Berlin's trendy Villa Neukölln brought a diverse crowd together to network, learn about the year ahead, and party the night away.

Making connections through art, creativity and collaboration

Participants took virtual tours of the Language for Resilience exhibition using Google Cardboards. © British Council

Connecting people

UK/Germany2018 made clear how art and culture connect people across borders.

We were proud bring together diverse communities, cultures and people from all backgrounds at events to learn from each other.

Whether face to face or in virtual environments they engaged in artistic dialogue and active citizenship.

During an exciting weekend in Berlin with UK-German Connection, we worked with 60 enthusiastic German and British pupils to explore the history and future of cultural heritage.

During an exciting weekend in Berlin with UK-German Connection, we worked with 60 enthusiastic German and British pupils to explore the history and future of cultural heritage.

Young people came together to connect on issues from gender to heritage, nature to science and more.

The learning opportunities offered by UK/Germany2018 placed diversity, representation, and open access to cultural institutions at the fore.

'The British Council transformed a working relationship into a family one. These are the partners we want to have, these are the partners that, as an organisation, we want to grow with.'

Ana Alvarez, Founder & CEO, Migration Hub Network
Promoting tolerance and diversity

© Workshop: The Power of Narrative: Migration, Trauma and the Story of Us.

Storytelling for resilience

Throughout 2018 we were honoured to have engaged with multiple partner organisations to form a programme which shone light on the importance of language in the context of immigration.

“Storytelling is a way of communicating between human beings, but also a way to dig deep in ourselves to have a better understanding of ourselves.”

Justine Hardy, a trauma psychotherapist speaking as part of the international literaturfestival berlin
Participants joining in one of our many storytelling events as part of the festival.

Participants joining in one of our many storytelling events as part of the festival.

We connected personal storytelling, resilience and literature at several events, including the Berlin International Literature Festival.

Providing a platform for young people

Throughout the season we hosted numerous youth-oriented events. We brought photographers, Sarah Amy Fishlock and Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte to Ulm for a week of workshops with school pupils centring on the work of Martin Parr. © British Council.

Creating an inclusive online platform

Throughout #UKGermany2018 we innovated in our own practice by taking to digital platforms to showcase the wonder of creative practice in the UK and Germany.

We hosted a workshop for refugees, and a public event on the science and practice of storytelling for change-making. Participants learned about each other and the things they have in common, bridging cultural gaps and making lasting connections.

We hosted a workshop for refugees, and a public event on the science and practice of storytelling for change-making. Participants learned about each other and the things they have in common, bridging cultural gaps and making lasting connections.



We opened our social channels in order to provide an inclusive platform to social influencers, young creatives and entrepreneurs.

In doing so, #UKGermany2018 represented aspirations of a shared and collaborative future.

Harnessing the power of digital storytelling

We produced twelve videos, telling the story of UK/Germany across all 16 Lander, reaching around 1 million views.

UK choreographer, Rachael Nanyonio travelled to festivals all over Germany, gaining inspiration from world-class practitioners, including Company Wayne McGregor.

We're proud to have brought together practitioners who have made lasting relationships and inspired each other's work.

Watch the film series from UK/Germany 2018 on YouTube.

Sharing the best of UK arts and culture

With black humour and a lot of wit Hijinx theatre, a theatre company working with actors with learning disabilities based in Wales, staged an encounter with the cloth puppet Fred at the international figure theatre festival Munich. © Hijinx Theatre.

Foregrounding cultural exchange

We brought the best of UK art and culture to audiences across Germany.

Young people across Germany attended performances, met artists, attended workshops, and shared their own creations.

'Making connections' was one of our season themes. We're thrilled that UK choreographer Rachael Nanyonjo (L) and German dancer Marita Pohle (R), met at our Launch party and are now planning to work together.

'Making connections' was one of our season themes. We're thrilled that UK choreographer Rachael Nanyonjo (L) and German dancer Marita Pohle (R), met at our Launch party and are now planning to work together.

Asking vital questions through literature

Nature writing as a genre has recently come into the spotlight in the UK and in Germany.

With climate change becoming an ever more pressing issue in our world, writers are increasingly looking to nature for the answers.

British literature has been powerfully reshaped by a surge of reaction to the living world, while nature writing in Germany has recently come into the spotlight, with a new substantial annual prize, the ‘Deutscher Preis für Nature Writing’ having been set up in 2017.

We were excited to offer six ambitious young writers the opportunity to create, discuss and develop their nature writing in Germany. 

We were excited to offer six ambitious young writers the opportunity to create, discuss and develop their nature writing in Germany. 

We hosted a British Council Literature Seminar #BritLitMunich offering additional school workshops for young writers, with scholarship winners themselves delivering workshops in Bremen a few months later.

We brought writers together to ask vital questions around whether nature writing can support the battle against climate change.

We brought writers together to ask vital questions around whether nature writing can support the battle against climate change.

‘British Council people are creative but at the same time very uncomplicated and hands on.’

Gabriele Tuch, Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Matthew Herbert of Brexit Big Band which played at Wassermusik said he sees music and its storytelling as a "language that makes sense of a complicated world." © Laura Fiorio\/HKW

Matthew Herbert of Brexit Big Band which played at Wassermusik said he sees music and its storytelling as a "language that makes sense of a complicated world." © Laura Fiorio/HKW

‘It was a rare experience to work on a programme that was an elegantly crafted... The imagination and depth of knowledge of the British Council was this bridge-builder, and the architects were the diligent and thoughtful British Council team.’

Justine Hardy, Novelist, Founder, Healing Kashmir

Together with UK/German connection, we spent a weekend in Berlin with 30 German and 30 British pupils to learn more about cultural heritage and hear their voices.

Different perspectives form the basis for new ideas - which in turn is a prerequisite for innovation.’

Birger Schmidt, Founder, Lernort Stadion
Celebration, Florida, was a film shown as part of the UK\/Germany 2018 Affiliate Programme. © English Theatre Berlin. 

Celebration, Florida, was a film shown as part of the UK/Germany 2018 Affiliate Programme. © English Theatre Berlin. 

If your organisation is interested in connecting with partners, for performance, learning, or to develop work together, please contact us. The British Council will continue to celebrate the creative collaborations between the UK and Germany.